Syrian War Report – September 13, 2017: Army Prepares to Cross Euphrates River

Hezbollah declared a victory in Syria as the Russian Defense Ministry announced that pro-government forces have liberated 85% of the country from militants. “We have won in the war [in Syria],” Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday, according to the Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar. He added that “the path of the other project has …

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US to Hand Raqqa Over to ISIS Affiliates After “Defeating” ISIS

In its article, "Syria: Arab Tribes Who Once Supported ISIS Turn to U.S. As Endgame Being In Raqqa," Newsweek reports: A top U.S. diplomat in the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has praised recent talks with Syrian tribal leaders slated to play a large role in governing Raqqa once the jihadis are …

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Matay Hanna, an MFS fighter, looks at a map of Raqqa, specifically the churches destroyed by IS (Wladimir van Wilgenburg/MEE)

Christian Militias on Warpath in Raqqa

On the front line against the Islamic State group in its Syrian capital Raqqa, a battalion of crucifix-wearing fighters is preparing to unseat the militants in a fight for the survival of their co-religionists. The Syriac Military Council (MFS) was first established in 2013 to protect the Christian Syriac (also known as Assyrian) community and fight …

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Burning Raqqa: The U.S. War Against Civilians in Syria

It was midday on Sunday, May 7th, when the U.S.-led coalition warplanes again began bombing the neighborhood of Wassim Abdo’s family. They lived in Tabqa, a small city on the banks of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. Then occupied by the Islamic State (ISIS, also known as Daesh), Tabqa was also under siege by …

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American Armored Vehicles are Pouring into Raqqa, But Who are They For?

Footage has surfaced online depicting flatbed tracks laden with American armored military vehicles passing through Syria, with conflicting commentary claiming that the materiel was bound for use by either US-backed Syrian militant groups or US troops themselves fighting Daesh in the city of Raqqa. The photos and videos were uploaded by Syrian Kurdish activists who are …

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Why ISIS Fighters are Being Thrown Off Buildings in Mosul

Iraqi security forces kill ISIS prisoners because they believe that if the militants are sent to prison camps they will bribe the authorities in Baghdad to release them. “That is why Iraqi soldiers prefer to shoot them or throw them off high buildings,” says one Iraqi source. A former senior Iraqi official said he could …

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US-backed Raqqa Civilian Council. What is it?

On April 18, 2017, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced the establishment of the Raqqa Civil City Council. They made this announcement on a meeting in Ayn Issa village north of Raqqa. According to Kurdish officials, the Raqqa Civil Council includes representatives of Kurdish and Arab tribes from Raqqa province. The council is fully under …

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US-Backed SDF Forces Enter Syria’s Raqqa from South

US-backed Arab-Kurd alliance last week sealed off Islamic State militants’ last escape route. US-backed fighters pierced militant-held Raqqa from the south for the first time on Sunday, crossing the Euphrates River to enter a new part of the Syrian city, a monitor said. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have spent months closing in on the …

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